White Kite Studio | Personal
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white-kite-studio-I-have-been-keeping-a-secret

I’ve been keeping a secret…

At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog post about change. I knew that 2017 was going to be a year of uncertainty, transition and letting go, and even though it scared me I also knew that it was necessary. My roots got unsettled and it’s been a year filled with confusion, but today I can finally say that the direction is set and the journey forward is clear.

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So, let me start at the beginning. All through our 20’s Johan and I have dreamed of living and working abroad, and so, at the start of 2017 we decided that we were going to make that dream happen. This decision propelled a series of changes that sent us into limbo.

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Change # 1: I left the wedding industry

What started out as a casual wedding stationery studio 4 years ago, has evolved into a respected name for branding and teaching creative entrepreneurs. Wedding stationery didn’t fit into the mix anymore, and felt completely out of place in a studio that was all about building successful small businesses. On the other hand, wedding stationery was tying me to producers, printers and clients in a specific location. I could no longer accept wedding work if I didn’t know if I would be available to see it through. So out the window wedding stationery went, and in came a fresh new strategy for making White Kite a booming branding hub!

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Change # 2: I started a side-career

Moving a business to a new location meant that I was going to take a financial knock at some stage, and I realised that I needed to diversify my skills. Also, I’m a firm believer in “do more of makes you happy”, and yoga makes me REALLY happy. It gave me balance and joy, and I wanted to share that and make it a bigger part of my life. So, in April I did my first teachers training course, and I’ve been a side-hustling yoga teacher ever-since. This decision has given me the opportunity to explore a new talent, but also to experiment with a new sort of mobile business.

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Change # 3: I took 3 months off

It was about more than just going on an epic 3 month adventure (you can read all about that here). Finding work and moving overseas was proving to be harder than we thought. Initially we believed that it would be quick to find a great job for Johan in the right location, but that didn’t happen. After about 6 months of relentless looking and hoping, we kind of hit a wall. We were so tired of keeping secrets and I was stressed out because I’d already cut out 50% of my business and income, without any indication of when the big move would happen… Change and uncertainty was starting to take it’s toll on us, so we left on a 3 month sabbatical to figure out what we wanted from life, but also to go and search for an opportunity in person…

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Change # 4: I became a vegan

A rather unexpected thing to come from our travels was that I could no longer bring myself to buy, consume or support animal products. I won’t dwell on this for too long, but during our 3 months away my heart and eyes opened wide, and I realised that each one of us need to take responsibility for the kind of world that we want to live in. A big lifestyle change like this obviously comes with challenges, but it’s actually been one of the things that’s brought me the most peace and contentment.

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Change # 5: I’m moving to Sydney

And there you have it. After a full year, we really did make it happen. I can officially announce that WKS will be based in Sydney from February 2018! I actually had my eyes set on Sydney right from the start… I love the weather, it’s beautiful and the creative industry in Australia will most certainly keep me on my toes! South Africa will forever be where I’m from, but to be honest, I never felt like SA’s the only place on earth where we could be at home or happy. Not because I’m nay-saying our beautiful country (eye-roll, yes we chose Australia) or want to talk about all the rubbish that we have to deal with (let’s just be real folks), but simply because I consider myself a citizen of the world. Heck, we might move again in 3 years from now, I don’t know what the future holds. For now, I’m just going with the flow, happy for a dream that came true, and excited for the new challenges and adventures that lie ahead. I trust the timing of our lives, and I know that we will be taken care of in this new chapter.

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So what now?

The great thing about 12 months is that it really gave me the opportunity to prepare and work through all the emotions. WKS is now a full service branding studio that offers everything from strategy, design, content creation, copy writing and websites. I’ve also devised 8 new online courses for 2018 and I’ll be producing an exciting new stationery range for the online store. Our online store goodies will still be available in South Africa, since I’ll be setting up a little team to run things for me over here. I also still have the opportunity to work with my South African clients in exactly the same way as before,  no matter where I find myself in the world (thanks Internet). The only thing that changes is that I now have a more holistic service to offer and better systems to make the process even smoother.

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And that’s it my friends. C-H-A-N-G-E. The growth we get from it, makes all the pain worth it. I look forward to sharing my new life and adventure with all of you over on Instagram and Facebook, and all of the wonderful new clients and projects that await. Please reach out to me if you have any questions, or if you’d like to take advantage of my new services. I’m now booking projects from March 2018. 🙂

white-kite-studio-2016-a-year-of-lightness

2017 – A year of lightness

So it’s the end of January already and I won’t lie to you, 2017 started off a little heavy. I came back from a blissful 3 week holiday and digital detox, but fell straight into a whirlpool of anxiety the moment I got back. 2017 is scaring the hell out of me right now, and here’s the reason why … change.

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This year is going to be a year full of big changes for both my business and myself. I can’t tell you too much about it just yet, but I can tell you that it’s making me feel pretty emotional. It’s like a ball of uncertainty, dipped in excitement then deep-fried in a boiling hot caldron of fear (and no, I’m not pregnant)!

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I always love to write a new year’s resolutions post to keep myself accountable, so this is me trying to figure out how to get back to my happy new year place and ditch this feeling of heaviness for something a little more comfortable. A strategy for lightness, 1,2,3.

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Strategy for lightness 1: Free my mind of worry, live in the moment

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Our minds are like monkeys. Our bodies can be present, but our minds are always jumping between the past and the future. Negative feelings from the past or our worries about the future can truly ruin the present moment, and what else do we really have than right now? The current breathe in our lungs?

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To keep my mind light, I’ve decided to live a more present life. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or freaked out at what the future might bring, I can ground myself back to the gifts of the present moment. Essentially it’s about being more grateful for the small things, and consciously acknowledging what it’s like to be human and alive.

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Strategy for lightness 2: Free my heart of all that is not love, live with gentleness

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This is actually something that I’ve been practicing for a year now, and it’s golden! However, I feel like I need a little reminder at the moment so here it goes. (I’m a yogi, so if you’re wondering where all the squishy stuff is coming from, it’s off my mat).

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Anzel (you can enter your own name here), speak to yourself like somebody that you love. Give yourself a break. Accept that all can not be perfect all the time. Know that you can’t have it all and have in now. Have compassion and forgive yourself for your shortcomings. It’s amazing what happens once you let go.

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There, I’m done. 🙂

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Strategy for lightness 3: Free my life of clutter, live with simplicity

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I’ve decided that 2017 will be the year to have less and do more. I’m trimming down the business, cleaning out the house, travelling a LOT, and basically getting rid of everything that complicates live.

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Change is uncomfortable, and scary, but at the same time it’s the thing that moves us forward, out of our comfort zones and into the new. I’ve decided to give this ‘new’ a good chance, and indulge in every experience without expecting too much in return. Lightness. To move like a feather in the wind.

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And on that note, feel free to leave your words of wisdom below. I actually sort of need all the advice and encouragement that I can get… I wish you a wonderful new year, and I hope that you can join me on a journey of lightness and hop on outta here with a spring in your step and massive smile on your face!

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tjing tjing!

white-kite-studio-2015-a-year-of-firm-decisions

2016 – a year of firm decisions

It’s the beginning of the year and we’re all feeling hopeful. I’m always crawling at the finish line in December thinking that I just barely survived it, and then January comes along… Just saying the word makes me feel like I can do ANYTHING again. Bless January!

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2015 was one hell of a year that taught me so many lessons. It was a year of adjusting to a new city and life, overcoming a personal heartbreak, and extremely hard work. It’s probably the same for everyone in one way or another, some adjustment, some heartbreak, some hard work…right?

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January is a time that we look back at the year past and think about what we want to do differently. For most of us it would be to adjust to something new, put an end to something negative in our lives and lastly…to work a little harder at something. Hello 2016 resolutions!

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Google tells me that “resolution” means to make a firm decision to do or not do something. So, here’s what 2015 taught me and what I’m deciding to do, and not do in 2016.

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Lesson #1: To worry isn’t worth it

 

You’ll only end up with an ulcer and wake up tired every morning. It will eat your energy, relationships and the skin on your face. To stress, worry and bitch about life, is completely counterproductive. We all know that to stop worrying is SO much easier said than done, but it’s something that I need to work on or I probably won’t reach the age of 40. So this is what needs to happen:

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Don’t take on more work than I can handle, saying ‘no’ to an opportunity is sometimes completely necessary, and I shouldn’t beat myself up about it.

Don’t work for free. The point of doing business is to get returns on my time-investment, and if there’s no return, then I’m the one paying. It’s called unnecessary stress that makes me old.

Don’t dwell on everything that needs to get done at 3AM; dealing with it in the morning will be so much harder if I’m tired and cranky.

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Do read some books on how to handle stress. Besides, reading before bedtime is a great way to get my mind off the day.

Do more physical exercise because the breathing makes me feel so much better.

Do work out a better office routine / schedule and stick to it. It’s all about planning and prioritising from now on.

Do get out of the office more. Take a walk in nature or work at a coffee shop down the road. I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I should use that to get out of my stress pit and find some perspective.

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Lesson #2: Don’t be so hard on yourself

 

Growing up and becoming a person of worth is all about learning from my mistakes, however, I can’t expect myself to never make a mistake again. Being perfect at everything all the time is simply not human! It’s good to acknowledge my own shortcomings, but it’s more important to focus on my victories and worth. That is the journey of becoming a better person. I believe it’s when we can train our brains to overshadow failure with day-to-day accomplishments that we grow. Remember that it’s not about how far you have to go, but rather about how far you’ve come. Now put that on a poster and print it! It’s that sort of thinking that will infuse life with positivity and hope. This is what I say to myself:

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Don’t compare. You’re doing more than okay for where YOU are at the moment.

Don’t think you can have it all and have it now! Great things take time.

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Do remember that most people are waaaaaay less critical about your work than you are, and they don’t see all the mistakes like you do.

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Lesson #3: Don’t be afraid to learn something new

 

I started doing hot yoga last year. I had a really embarrassing first session where I walked out of the studio drenched in sweat, tomato red in the face and sobbing, hard, like a baby. Everyone looked at me with sad and concerned eyes and I felt super small, but at the same time – liberated! After that, yoga changed my life, and I’m not just saying it because that’s what everyone else is saying about it…it’s the truth. Here’s something else yoga reminded me of:

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Don’t think you don’t have the time. Make time as an investment into yourself.

Don’t think you can’t, because once you get started (and that’s the trick), you might just find out that you can…

Don’t give up.

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Do join that pottery class!

Do learn how to do digital lettering!

Do rekindle your love of cyanotype printing!

And lastly, do push yourself, do believe in yourself and get shit done! You are so much stronger than you think.

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And on that note, happy 2016 everyone! I hope that all of us make it to December, well adjusted to our new year’s resolutions, with happy and full hearts, feeling relaxed and accomplished. Keep it golden!!